The Petrograd City Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. (Bolsheviks)

Two Remarks During the Debate On the Question of the Municipal Elections


Since we have proportional representation, there is no need for a bloc; the minority is protected. I emphatically disagree with Comrade Kalinin, because a bloc with the petty bourgeoisie, with the chauvinists, is unthinkable. The very idea of a bloc with the petty bourgeoisie, who are supported by the capitalists, is a betrayal of socialism. With whom are we to form blocs, with the editors of Internatsional[1]? But this paper has not been published yet, and therefore we do not know them. Chkheidze is defencism’s worst mask. Trotsky, when editing his paper in Paris, never made it clear whether he was for or against Chkheidze. We have always spoken against Chkheidze, because he is a subtle mask for chauvinism. Trotsky has never made himself clear. How do we know that Larin, the editor of Internatsional, does not follow the same tactics?

We must come forward with a definite programme. A struggle is now on among three parties: the first is the party of robbers and killers; the second is the party that shields these robbers with fine words, and finally, the third party, the party that refuses to support the robbers and stands for exposing the mistakes made by everybody, the Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies included.

The fault of the Soviet is not that it didn’t assume power, but that it teaches the people the wrong things, it shouts about its victory over the government.


I am decidedly in favour of placing on our tickets the names of the Menshevik candidates who are breaking with chauvinism. This is no bloc. As far as parties are concerned, Russia is remarkably well organised. About a programme: the question of a paid militia, the question of food supply, the question of taxes—all these are important.

First published in 1925 in the book The Petrograd City and the All-Russia Conferences of the R.S.D.L.P. (Bolsheviks), April 1917  
Published according to the typewritten copy of the Minutes  


[1] An advance announcement of the publication of the weekly journal Intertsational was published in Rabochaya Gazeta on April 16 (29), 1917. The first issue appeared on April 18(31), and on April 22 (May 5) Lenin had apparently had not yet seen it. The title page held a notice to the effect that pending the arrival of L. Martov the journal was edited by Y. Larin. The list of contributors included L. Martov, Y. Larin, P. B. Axelrod and G. 0. Binshtok. In the first issue the editors proclaimed the conciliatory slogan of bringing pressure to bear on the Provisional Government to meet the demands of the proletariat in domestic and foreign policies. The third issue of the journal (for June 1917) was its last. In August 1917 some of the journal’s contributors headed by Y. Larin broke with the Mensheviks and joined the ranks of the Bolshevik Party.